school suppliesAnd just like that, school’s back in session! With access to all kinds of information, research, and studies, parents can be better prepared for the unexpected. So now that the shopping for new clothes, notebooks, pencils, and other items can be checked off your annual back-to-school list, here are some other school supplies that are totally worth considering. Why? Because they can save you time, money, or even your kids’ health.

Extra School Supplies To Ensure Your Kids’ Health

Water Bottle: If you haven’t read our blogs on the importance of hydration, we can’t emphasize enough how important getting enough water is, especially in Texas where temperatures consistently reach above 100 degrees. Unfortunately, one juice box a day packed in your kid’s lunchbox is hardly enough fluid to keep them properly hydrated. The recommended daily amount of fluids is 5 glasses for 5- to 8-year-olds, 7 glasses for 9- to 12-year-olds, and 8 to 10 glasses for 13+ years. By sending your child to school with a water bottle everyday, it will re-emphasize the importance of staying hydrated, which is a habit they should continue throughout their entire lifetime.

Personal Hand Sanitizer: Yes, teachers will typically have communal hand sanitizer on their list of school supplies, but getting your child their own personal hand sanitizer also reinforces the need to practice good hygiene, especially at school where germs are everywhere. A 2008 study in The American Journal of Public Health revealed that hand hygiene cut gastrointestinal diseases by 31 percent and respiratory infections by 21 percent. When kids have their very own hand sanitizer, they may be more inclined to using it. This can ultimately cut down on the time you have to take off from work to take care for your sick child.

Toothbrush, Mouthwash, and Floss: This may sound like going overboard, but encouraging your child to practice good oral hygiene can save you from a hefty dental bill. After all, they’re at school for more than 6 hours a day, which gives sugar and bacteria a lot of time to do damage. Your kids should be allowed a bathroom break following lunch, so they can use that time to brush and floss. At the very least, they can gargle with some mouthwash if they are short on time. Good oral hygiene can make a huge impact on your kids’ health overall.

A Brand New Lunch Box: A teacher once said that a “good, sturdy lunch box can give your child a sense of confidence that they are prepared for school.” Your child will feel even better when you let them choose a lunchbox they are proud of. It doesn’t have to be something expensive. But allowing them to have some new stuff for the new year definitely sets the tone to present themselves well for a new chapter in their life.

Want to be the A+ parent when it comes to back-to-school stuff? Read Hospitality Health ER’s back-to-school checklist and our blog on reducing back-to-school anxiety.